Reischauer Center for East Asia Studies

The East Asian Economies and the Asian Continent

Ambassador Kurt Tong will discuss recent economic developments in East Asia. He will discuss his recent work in the region and possible future developments for the Asian continent. Following his presentation, we will hear comments from Minister Kanji Yamanouchi from the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC. Kurt Tong has served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the Department of State since July 2014. Before joining the Bureau, Mr. Tong served for three years as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to his time in Tokyo, he was the U.S. Ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), managing all aspects of U.S. participation in APEC, while concurrently serving as the Economic Coordinator for the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, organizing bureau-wide efforts on economic policy. Mr. Tong has been an economic affairs diplomat for the State Department since 1990, including service as Director for Asian Economic Affairs at the National Security Council from 2006 to 2008 and as Economic Minister-Counselor in Seoul from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, he was Counselor for Environment, Science and Health in Beijing and served as Deputy Treasury Attaché in Tokyo and as an economic officer in Manila. Mr. Tong was a Visiting Scholar at the Tokyo University Faculty of Economics from 1995 to 1996. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he was an Associate with the Boston Consulting Group in Tokyo. Mr. Tong holds a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and studied graduate-level economics at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. He has also studied at the Beijing Institute of Education, Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Taipei, Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo, and International Christian University in Tokyo. Mr. Tong speaks and reads Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. He has published articles in Foreign Policy and Nihon Keizai Kenkyu (an academic journal of the Japan Center for Economic Research). Kanji Yamanouchi is an accomplished diplomat who has had the honor of working with world leaders ranging from Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi to U.S. President Barack Obama and currently serves as the Minister of Economic Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1984 and has served in the DC Embassy as a First Secretary in the Political Section. He later became the Director of the First North American Division, the primary agency in charge of U.S.-Japan relations. He served as the Executive Assistant on Diplomatic Affairs for Prime Ministers Hatoyama and Kan. He was later promoted to Deputy Director General for the Asian Affairs Bureau.  





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Date and Time
May 12, 2016
4:30pm - 6:00pm Local Time

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Troubled Waters: The Dynamics and Implications of Japan’s Disputes over History and Territory

Over the past twenty years Japan's relations with its closest neighbors have been increasingly troubled by rising tensions over history and territory. While these disputes are shaped by a variety of factors, including geopolitical conflict and increased competition for scarce resources, domestic political factors have promoted the development of historical narratives in China, Korea, and Japan that have disrupted diplomatic relations and fed highly emotional, antagonistic popular sentiment. These narratives are increasingly being tied to long standing territorial disputes that harbor a dangerous potential for militarized confrontation. The implications of this trend for Japan’s relations with the region are profound and have significant consequences for its relationship with the United States as well. Off-the-Record





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Date and Time
May 5, 2016
4:30pm - 6:00pm Local Time

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Coping with US-Japan Energy Interdependence

This conference will explore the rapidly changing energy relationship between the US and Japan and prospects for the future. Off-the-Record. 

 





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Date and Time
April 22, 2016
10:00am - 5:00pm Local Time

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The United Kingdom’s Security Role in Asia - A Town Hall Meeting with the SAIS Community

The Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP will discuss the relationship between the United Kingdom and Asia in his role overseeing the region for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  Students are encouraged to ask questions during this town hall event on topics ranging from strategic security issues to the UK’s all-of-Asia approach.

Swire was appointed Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in September 2012. His portfolio covers the Commonwealth, Asia Pacific, South Asia, the Americas and the Falklands.  He is also the lead Minister for the FCO’s economic diplomacy, as well as its public diplomacy, through the British Council, the Chevening and Marshall Scholarship programs, and the GREAT campaign. Off-the-Record. 





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Date and Time
April 19, 2016
4:30pm - 5:30pm Local Time

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Edwin O. Reischauer Memorial Lecture Series, Foreign Policy Institute, and IDEV Development Roundtable - President Takehiko Nakao "Asian Economic Outlook and the Roles of the Asian Development Bank"

President Nakao will discuss the economic situations and outlook for Asia, as well as the policy challenges of Asian developing countries. The lecture will include the roles of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in promoting development, the reform efforts to fulfill its roles such as strengthening financing capacity, and the cooperation with AIIB and other partners.



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Date and Time
April 14, 2016
4:30pm - 6:00pm Local Time

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Reconnecting Eurasia beyond China: new players, challenges and risks for Japan and the Indo-Pacific

In the past decade, the re-connection of the Eurasian landmass has been mainly driven by China´s economic “inwards” in continental Eurasia and by the re-orientation of Eurasian energy producers toward China and the Asia-Pacific space. A new continentalist trend has emerged, largely by-passing Europe and the West. Today, low oil prices have hit the Eurasian Energy Producers which now suffer an economic downturn and need to modernize and diversify their economies, while China is facing a transformation crisis, aimed at changing its economic model and move upward along the value production chain. Paradoxically, the combined effect of low oil prices, economic downturn, modernization and diversification needs make the further infrastructure re-connection of the continent even more advantageous for all the involved players. Indeed, the World is far from ‘flat’: while the global economy is characterized by a process of accelerated economic de-synchronization among the three great geo-economic poles Asia, Europe and the U.S. the integration of wider Eurasia, mainly propelled by Asia, has been leading to a synchronization of the economic dynamics across a vast space which encompasses the Indian and the Pacific Ocean as well as continental Eurasia. While China will remain geoeconomically central, a less discussed trend is the increasing multiplication of new players keen to entering or re-entering the Eurasian geo-economic space, with India, Iran or middle powers like Turkey and South Korea increasingly playing a crucial role in the infrastructural reconnection of this vast space. Against this backdrop, for Japan-highly dependent from energy imports from the Gulf and the only industrialized country with geographic proximity but not direct access to continental Eurasia, the reconnection of this space hides great risks but unprecedented chances. Dr. Jacopo Maria Pepe, PhD, is currently Research Fellow at the Berlin Centre for Caspian Region Studies at the Freie Universität and Associate Fellow at the Robert-Bosch Centre for Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and Eurasia of the German Society for Foreign Policy-DGAP. He holds a Master in International Relations/International Political Economy from the Freie University, the Universität Potsdam and the Humboldt Univeristät and PhD in International Relations from the Freie Universität Berlin. He is an advisor to the Italian Foreign Ministry on issues related to Turkey, the Middle East and Eurasia. 2014 he has spent 5 Months as Visiting Research Fellow at the Edwin Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, SAIS-Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C. His main research interests are Eurasian economy integration and security issues , transport, logistics and energy issues in the post-soviet space as well as geopolitics and geoeconomics of trade. He contributes regularly-am ong others- to the Aspen Institute online magazine. Its PhD thesis ‘Beyond Energy: Trade and Transport in a Reconnecting Eurasia’ is due for publication in the next months.  





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Date and Time
April 7, 2016
4:30pm - 6:00pm Local Time

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The Evolving US-Japan Alliance in a Dynamic East Asia

The U.S.-Japan alliance has been the bedrock of Asian security since World War II. With shifting power balances and economic patterns in the region, new challenges to security and stability are emerging. At the same time, Japan, after its recent re-interpretation of its constitution to allow it to participate in collective self-defense, is positioned to play a greater role within the U.S.-Japan Alliance and more broadly. This panel will examine how the U.S.-Japan alliance may change in the coming years and how that may affect relations within the region. 





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Date and Time
January 13, 2016
4:00pm - 6:00pm Local Time

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The Washington Conference on Nuclear Power in an Energy and Environmentally Challenged World

Japan and the United States: Addressing the Challenges of Energy Security and Climate Change The U.S.-Japan partnership is a stabilizing force in the Asia-Pacific region, and an important contributor to global economic prosperity. Japan has been a world leader in combatting climate change, notably through its commitment to nuclear power and renewable energy technologies. Japan lacks, however, indigenous resources to sustain power generation for its economy, the third largest in the world. With its impressive fleet of nuclear reactors almost entirely shut down and a cautious restart moving slowly, Japanese energy security and contribution to climate change mitigation are severely at risk. The United States is enjoying a second hydrocarbon revolution as fracking promises to extract vast quantities of oil and gas for decades to come. Conceptually, fracking has changed the global energy balance and ensured the nation's energy security for the foreseeable future. In reality, however, reliance on plentiful and inexpensive American natural gas proves problematic as the Obama Administration pursues its Clean Power agenda and the world faces climate change. Despite its abundance and reliability, natural gas is an emitting fossil fuel and cannot be the answer to a sustainable energy future. Japan faces an energy security and a climate change challenge. The United States has broken its once growing dependence on insecure foreign sources of oil and assured its energy security well into the new century but struggles to find a consensus plan for combatting global warming. How will the two strategic partners address these challenges? What role must nuclear power play if these challenges are going to be met? The US-Japan Roundtable convenes at the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies of the School of Advanced International Studies to analyze and discuss these pressing questions. Note: this event is off-the-record. 





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Date and Time
December 10, 2015
1:00pm - 5:15pm Local Time

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The Dream of East Asia

Two contradictory discourses dominate the fate of Northeast Asia. On the one hand, as exemplified by vitriolic territorial disputes, some foresee a future of tensions and even warfare. On the other hand, some believe that the region will emulate European Community. I argue that intra-national concerns dominate each of the major powers in the region and - perhaps paradoxically - the most likely prospect is muddling through: increasing intra-regional economic exchange and relatively stable geopolitical status quo. In short, neither is the nightmare nor the dream vision of East Asia seems likely.  





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Date and Time
December 3, 2015
4:30pm - 6:00pm Local Time

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Russia’s Gas Industry and Potential Asia-Pacific Market: A Point of Transition

Russia, a country highly dependent on the oil and gas industries, is looking to the east. Vladimir Putin has grown concerned about Russia’s place in the natural gas market with Russia dropping to 2nd place in the global market in 2009. The Shale Gas Revolution in the U.S. and LNG delivery being shifted to the Asia-Pacific region, the Russian Gas Industry is at a clear point of transition. Hirokazu Saito will discuss the future dynamics of the Russian-Asian energy relationship and look at the rising consumption of natural gas in China and Japan can be a key piece for Russian LNG production to break into Asia-Pacific Market. This event is off-the-record.





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Date and Time
November 19, 2015
4:30pm - 6:00pm Local Time

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